I have always had very thick hair. I can remember my mom using the thinning shears on my hair when I was young. My hair has also been long for most of my life. The few times I have had it cut short I walked away in tears. I think that had to due mostly though with my dislike for change! 🙂 Back home in Troutdale I have a lady who cuts my hair just how I like it. She takes time to thin it out really well and layers it. Being here in Hong Kong I wasn’t sure where to get my hair cut. An American friend suggested a salon near our local outdoor market. She told me that they don’t speak very much English but to just show up with a picture. She said that she has always been happy with her cuts there and the price was very reasonable. I went once to the salon my friend mentioned and I think that the stylist was intimidated because he didn’t take very much length off or thin it very much at all. So last week I went back but this time I went to my friend Grace first. I told her plainly in English what I was wanting done to my hair…thinned out, textured and layered with very little length taken off the bottom. Grace then wrote out my request in Chinese. I looked at Grace before I left her place and made her promise that she didn’t write to “shave it short and dye it blue”. She promised she hadn’t. 🙂
The salon near the market was classy and much like the salon I go to back home. The only thing that was strikingly different was that the salon here was so quiet. It was full of clients, all of them Chinese…yes I was the only Gweilo (aka white person). They were all getting their hair washed, cut or styled but no one said much of anything. It reminded me of the library and I left wanting to whisper. After I arrived I was ushered to a seat and handed a few magazines that looked like the Asian equivalent of People magazine or US magazine but they were all in Chinese! 🙂 The host then asked in broken English if I wanted anything to drink. She offered lemon tea to which I said yes. Something warm sounded nice and cozy. She returned with a cold lemon tea box. 🙂 (just like a juice box but iced tea) I should have remembered…those lemon tea boxes are a favorite of the boys in the vending machines around here. My stylist came shortly and I handed him the paper that Grace had written on for me. Now every time you sit in the stall at a salon you are putting your trust into the stylist’s hands. But in HK where the stylist doesn’t speak any English and I hand him a sheet of paper filled with Chinese characters that meant as much to me as scribbles on a doodle pad it takes the trust to a whole new level! 🙂 By the nods that he gave me after reading the sheet of paper I figured he understood. My stylist took his time and was very professional. As he cut and styled I enjoyed the silence and the moments alone (as most mamas of little ones understand! hehe). The end result of my haircut was pretty much just what I asked for. Once again I was thankful for my neighbor Grace!